19 December 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher in Belfast

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD and Northern Secretary Julian Smith MP have been meeting the five main Stormont parties in Belfast this week to assess the mood for restoring the power-sharing Executive. They have a deadline of 13th January to broker an agreement. Bilateral discussions began on Monday following the results of the British general election that saw nationalists returned to Westminster with more seats than unionists for the first time.

The SDLP regained two seats, one from the DUP and one from Sinn Féin, whose seven MPs will not be taking their seats. Stephen Farry of the Alliance Party won the North Down seat that was previously held by Lady Sylvia Hermon. The DUP lost seats to the SDLP in South Belfast, where Claire Hanna had a convincing majority of 19,000 over Emma Little Pengelly, and to Sinn Féin in North Belfast, where the Lord Mayor John Finucane…

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